We all constantly read and learn about rising pollution, changing climate and increasing global warming. But do you know Climate change is actually not just about carbon dioxide levels or the melting of polar ice-caps? It is about our public health and the chance to protect our Earth for our future generations. Something which is essential for our humankind making it imperative that we must change our ways before it gets too late. In this post I am sharing some practical ways to reduce carbon footprint and save Earth for our future generations. Even these smallest changes or tweaks to our everyday lives can improve the conditions of the Earth for our children.
Do you know, under the Kyoto Protocol each country has to a set quota of Green House Gases? And they need to regulate its carbon emissions in order to imply with UN’s climate and any deficient from the targeted amount earns them carbon credits. A reason why all construction, power, textile, chemical or similar manufacturing projects needs environmental permits. In simple words, if your country doesn’t meet the carbon emission levels or is a big polluter, we need to pay for it in terms of buying carbon credits. So while the world as a whole is working for it, we just need to do our part and follow these practical ways to reduce carbon footprint and save Earth.
1. Avoid Use of Plastic Bags
We all are aware that Plastic is not biodegradable in nature. This means that plastic bags cannot be broken down by microorganisms. This further leads to to the accumulation of plastic in the environment.
It is even observed that our marine life often mistake plastic as food, which can cost their life. This unwanted plastic accumulation in oceans not only affect aquatic life, but it also has a direct impact on humans. As over time, the chemicals present in the plastics contaminate the aquatic life. Which if taken as seafood can take a toll on our health.
The best alternative would be
- using eco-friendly canvas/cloth bags for shopping at grocery stores,
- using paper/cloth bags to store, pack or gift items.
2. Turn off lights and Unplug the charger
We all are often guilty of leaving our phone/laptop charger plugged even after it reaches 100%. We should always keep in mind that electricity is generated from fossil fuels. Formation of fossil fuel is complex and take hundreds of years, something we learnt in junior classes.
So while we are overcharging our phones or leaving our laptop charger plugged can drastically increase our carbon footprint. It should be noted that even if you are not using any appliance but the charger is connected to the socket, it still drains the electricity which gets wasted. It is also observed that overcharging tends to overheat the battery and reduce its workability over years.
The workable approach could be
- Never leave the mobile/laptop charger connected overnight.
- Always charge all batteries to 100% and switch off and unplug the charger.
- Keep all electrical appliances out of the socket when not in use.
- Turn off your AC someday and open the window.
- Use natural light during the day to light up your house and not draw the heavy curtains.
- During night light a candle/diya or traditional lanterns to light up the open spaces, balconies during festivals, parties or social gatherings.
- Enjoy a candlelight dinner a few times.
3. Recycling Clothes.
Believe it or not, changing fashion trends is one of the biggest reasons for increased pollution. As per reports, it is said that manufacturing a single pair of jeans requires 2000 gallons of water. Another cause of pollution is the textile dyeing which is responsible for 10% of carbon emissions. While we all tend to get tempted with the jaw-dropping ‘Sales’ and buy clothes, which we may tend to wear once or only a couple of times.
The easiest way to tackle the “I don’t have any clothes” situation would be
- Look for over quality than quantity.
- Buy clothes that can easily be Mixed ‘n’ Matched and wearing them again could be easy.
- Buy an extra pair of jeans or a set of clothes when it is absolutely necessary. Reduce (limit the number), reuse (wear them often) and recycle (upcycle one outfit to another)
- Always try to donate a pair to someone needy, when you buy a new pair.
4. Reduce the use of paper
Today, we have access to various gadgets having notepads and various apps to take notes. So a mindful way could be taking help of these apps to make that grocery list, pending actionable etc.
I know the paper used can be recycled, but then there is a cost involved for recycling, the chemical, dying, paper machines, all runs on electricity. Also, the paper industry today is a huge contributor to deforestation. Cutting down on the usage of paper would not only saves trees but would also reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases oxygen. An overall win-win situation in every case.
An Easy yet workable approach could be
- Reusing the existing papers lying in your house instead of throwing them. I let my soon to be a 3-year-old draw, colour and paint on the other side of the used paper.
- Invest in a digital app/hard disks to store soft copies of important documents.
- Never print or send hard copy letters till absolute necessary, nowadays all government authorities also accept online requests through their portals or via emails.
- Use Google Sheets to let you and your colleagues work and update lists in real-time.
- Store all your grocery list, to do tasks in your mobile phones to keep them handy always. You can even set reminders for tasks or share the lists with family and friends.
4. Reduce Reuse Recycle
You might have probably heard this everywhere. A lot of energy is consumed to process and recycle waste. And when we are looking to reduce our carbon footprint and save Earth, Our mantra should be
- plant more trees, have a mini kitchen garden
- Ride a bicycle or walk wherever and whenever possible
- reduce waste
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